William “Bill” White, an unlicensed placement agent and former fundraiser for Alan G. Hevesi, former New York state comptroller, agreed to pay a $1 million settlement to the state for his role in the so-called pay-to-play scandal involving the $124.8 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany.
In addition, Mr. White will cooperate with state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo's ongoing investigation and abide by Mr. Cuomo's code of conduct, prohibiting placement agents from doing business with New York pension funds, according to a news release from Mr. Cuomo.
Mr. White “brokered investments worth several hundred million dollars from the New York State Common Retirement Fund on behalf of firms that paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees,” according to Mr. Cuomo's news release. “White did not have the required license to broker the deals. After obtaining one of these deals, White personally contributed and bundled contributions to Comptroller Hevesi's campaign from the principals of one of the firms.”
Mr. Hevesi, who resigned as comptroller in December 2006, hasn't been accused of wrongdoing. He pleaded guilty to an unrelated felony count of defrauding the government in connection with the use of state employees as chauffeurs and aides to his wife.
An indictment is pending against Mr. Hevesi's political adviser, Henry “Hank” Morris, who faces criminal charges that he skewed the investment process to favor deals that benefited him, his associates and contributors to Mr. Hevesi's campaign.
In a hearing Thursday, State Supreme Court Justice Lewis Bart Stone prodded Mr. Morris and prosecutors to reach a resolution in the case prior to trial, which was scheduled for April 26.
Mr. Cuomo's investigation into trading money for pension fund business has led to six guilty pleas, including that of David Loglisci, former chief investment officer for the state comptroller's office from January 2003 through May 2007. He pleaded guilty in March to charges that he helped direct pension fund investments to politically connected money managers.
Quadrangle Group agreed in mid-April to a $5 million settlement with the SEC and a combined $7 million in settlement payments to the New York state treasury and the pension fund. Quadrangle made the settlements but neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.
Bloomberg contributed to this story.